Recipe courtesy of Dan Langan

Candied Bacon and Pecan Meringue Tart with Coffee Frozen Custard

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 5 hr 15 min (includes churning and freezing time)
  • Active: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 9 servings
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Coffee Frozen Custard:

1/4 cup whole coffee beans

2 cups whole milk 

6 egg yolks 

1 whole egg 

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar 

1 cup heavy cream 

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon espresso powder 

Pate Brisee:

3 1/5 cups pastry flour

2 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

2 large eggs, whisked

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 


4 ounces maple-cured bacon (about 5 slices)

6 ounces whole pecans 

3 tablespoons brown sugar 


2 tablespoons butter

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest of 1/2 orange 

4 large eggs 

1/2 cup light corn syrup 

1/2 cup dark corn syrup


2 egg whites

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Special equipment:
nine 4-inch tart pans
  1. For the coffee frozen custard: Roughly chop the coffee beans and add to a pot, along with the milk. Heat until steaming.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar until lightened, about 30 seconds. Temper the eggs by slowly whisking in some of the hot milk. Add back to the saucepan and heat to 170 degrees F on a thermometer, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream, vanilla and espresso powder. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, then cool in an ice bath.
  3. Transfer the frozen custard base to an ice cream maker, churn according to manufacturer's instructions and then freeze until firm.
  4. For the pate brisee: Combine the pastry flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until blended and the mixture looks like sand. Drizzle in the eggs, 4 teaspoons water, and vanilla; process just until a dough comes together.
  5. Transfer the dough to the counter and shape into two 1-inch-thick disks. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. For the filling: Cook the bacon until crispy, though not burned. Drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat, leaving the remaining fat in the pan.
  7. Roughly chop the pecans and add them to the bacon skillet, along with the brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook over high heat until the sugar melts. Reserve in a bowl.
  8. Cream together butter, reserved bacon fat, white sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix in the vanilla and orange zest.
  9. Add the eggs in 3 additions, scraping the bowl in between. Blend well.
  10. Add the light corn syrup and dark corn syrup; blend until smooth. Reserve.
  11. Par-bake the tart shell: Roll out lemon-size pieces of pate brisee to a 1/4-inch thickness. Place over nine 4-inch tart pans and gently press in.
  12. Roll the pin over the tart pans to cut away excess dough, then prick the dough with a fork. Place the tart pans on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Place the foil over each tart and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Pre-bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tart shells are lightly browned. Remove the pie weights and foil. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  15. Finish the tart: Place enough pecans in each tart shell to fill them level, then crumble over some bacon. Pour the filling into the tart shells, filling up to the edge.
  16. Bake the tarts for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool.
  17. For the meringue: With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add the sugar and then the vanilla; whip to a medium peaks. Transfer to a pastry bag.
  18. Pipe a rosette of meringue onto each tart, then toast with a kitchen torch.
  19. Serve the tarts with a scoop of the coffee frozen custard.

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